What to expect of the Parade? – Rio Tickets



About the competition

First of all, it is important to highlight that Carnival is beauty, emotion, but also a competition. Every Samba School tries to bring their best performance in order to win.

carnival parade panoramic view

There are 100 Samba Schools in Rio de Janeiro and they are divided into 5 different leagues. In the Sambadrome, only the 12 Samba Schools of the Special Group (Top League) and the 16 Samba Schools of the Second Group parade.

Check out the 2025's schedule below:

The Special League has the big Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro and parade in the main show days. The Second Division has smaller Samba Schools and its winner is qualified to go to the Special League in the next year.

The parades in the Sambadrome always occur in February and March each year. In 2024, the Special League parades on 2nd and 3rd of March. The Second Division, on 28th of February and 1st of march and the Child’s League, on March 4th. There’s no charge to watch the Kids Parade. 

The first 6 placed Samba Schools of the Special League parade again on March 8th to celebrate their performances. This day of the parade is also known as the Champions Parade

samba school parade sambadrome rio de janeiro muse

The dynamic of the parade

The Second Division’s parade starts at 9 pm on both days and the Samba Schools have to perform in a maximum of 60 minutes. In case of delay, points can be lost.

When it comes to the Special League, each day 6 Samba Schools parade and the party starts at 10 pm. They can cross the avenue between 65 and 75 minutes. The rule in case of delay is the same.

During the spectacle, the Samba Schools present their theme to the jury, to the 80 thousand spectators in the Sambadrome and to millions of people watching on television.

samba school parade sambadrome rio de janeiro

The parade is scheduled to end at 5 am in case of no delays. Between each Samba School’s presentation there’s a 15 minute break. While you wait for the next show, you can go to the bathroom - there’s one in each Sambadrome’s Sector. Take this time to explore the Sambodrome, buy drinks and food and better interact with the local people.

Book your ticket with Rio Tickets and enjoy this magnificent show!

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